When your well laid plans for building a family change

Posted on May 19, 2014. Filed under: Family, Health | Tags: , , , , |

My darling little girl is 13 months old. I will be the envy of parents everywhere in reporting that she sleeps 12 hours straight at night, eats well (not picky!), has a pretty even temperament, does very well in restaurants, and while she might be a little behind on milestones given her rough start, she always eventually meets them, and is very social and happy.

And having this pleasant child is STILL so much work and stress that I am beginning to wonder if we can handle another one.

The plan (ha! what a joke) was to have two kids, and given that it took two years for me to have a healthy pregnancy, our original timetables were out of whack. Given the difficulty with miscarriages, and the scariness with our daughter’s birth (and frankly, just my preference), I decided the second child would be welcomed through adoption. Hooray!!

So here I am, turning 39 later this year, and finding it REALLY difficult to juggle marriage, child, and work. (Friends? Social life? What’s that? Seriously, what is it?) I’ve been keeping my head above water JUST BARELY for 13 months, and it is only minutely! incrementally! marginally! a weeee bit! easier as time goes on. Actually, I take that back – it’s not easier. New issues just replace resolved issues, or bigger issues replace smaller issues. If I thought I was a multi-tasker before, well, LOOK OUT NOW! I have superhuman strength! Do you know how I know? Because I operate on LESS THAN 6 hours of sleep per night. No sleeping in, never. Sole breadwinner, long hours at work and caring for the wee one nights and weekends.

But that multi-tasking is costing me. For many moms, we are unwilling to sacrifice quality on our homes, our relationships, our families, or our jobs, so the category that gets cut is ourselves. But with just the one kid, I couldn’t cut any more of myself out of the picture! I’m maxed out!

My husband takes care of our daughter during the day and does everything else household related – all chores (all!! no joke) except that I do my own laundry and we share cooking – and he’s totally burnt out, too! Maybe we’re just not cut out to be those parents I read about in magazines, or the ones I see on the playgrounds with their kids. Maybe we really just need to be a one-kid family, despite our well-laid plans. Lord knows all that careful, conscientious planning has ended up in the toilet anyway so far!

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